Marina di Vecchiano

Last week, in search of a fun day trip to entertain our 4 year old son, my husband and I took the advice of a Lucchese friend and headed out to Marina di Vecchiano, about a 25 minute drive from Lucca, on the Mediterranean Coast.

Marina di Vecchiano is a long strip of beach that is surrounded by the San Rossore Natural Park, so instead of massive commercial beach stations, restaurants and bars (like what you find in Viareggio), here we found a beautiful, quiet beach, two small restaurants with outdoor and indoor dinning, and a small playground area in front of Il Papiro restaurant for small children. Even better, this seems to be the place where people bring their horses. They simply ride them up the beach to the restaurant, tie them to the post next to the restaurant, and then sit outside on the patio enjoying their lunch while their horses graze in front of them.

My son really loved petting the horses and playing on the playground. My husband and I loved the fact that we could enjoy a quiet meal outdoors, at the beach, and not have to entertain our son the whole time. The food at il Papiro was pretty good too. We had a big platter of Fritto Misto (batter dipped deep fried assorted fish, shrimp and calamari). They had some great white wines as well. Service was a bit slow, but we were not in a hurry.

After our meal we spent the rest of the day on the beach, which was just beautiful as you can see the marble capped Apenine Mountains in the distance. All in all, a great day trip from Lucca. Only problem is that this place is super crowded on the weekends and in the summer, so come early. You may also want to bring your bicycles as there are excellent bicycle paths in the woods that surround the beach.


From Lucca take the highway entrance Pisa Nord. Follow signs for Pisa Nord till you get to the Pisa Nord exit. After the exit, the road comes to a T. Make a left onto the Aurelia in the direction of Pisa and Livorno. Continue straight until you reach a brown sign for Marina di Vecchiano. Turn right at the sign and follow the road to your first roundabout. Go through the roundabout, exiting at another sign for Marina di Vecchiano. You should be driving for about another 10 minutes through farmland and forest, could be more if you go slowly. The road is not great in places. Do not park at the first parking lot you see, that is the parking for the marina, and not for the beach. You'll know you're in the right place when you see the dunes and two small octagonal restaurants, spaced three blocks apart from each other along the beach. Il Papiro restaurant is not the first, but the second restaurant as you turn right on the road that is parallel to the beach. You'll find it on your left. It has a shaded parking lot for its guests that costs 5,00 euro for the day in the summer. If you go on the weekend, leave early in the morning to make sure you get a good spot. Also, you may want to call a head for reservations if you plan to lunch there.

The address and phone number of Il Papiro is:

Marina di Vecchiano
c/o Oasi Uno
Tel. 050 864147

Sometimes, they don't answer at that number, so if you can't get through, try either:
Andrea: 349 8387768
Edoardo: 333 7348255

posted by gina, 2006-04-25

[Tuscany] [Day Trip] [Kids] [Outdoors] []


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